Hello and thanks for visiting my page!
I started working as an illustrator when I was in my final year at Art College and now, over 35 years later I still haven't got a proper job! I've illustrated literally hundreds of books, predominantly in educational publishing. A few years ago I was main illustrator for Longman's 'Story Street' reading scheme, illustrating 79 titles and writing 5.
I've worked in children's television, specifically in character development and most notably in the 'Raggy Doll' series in the mid to late 1980's. I have also done a certain amount of licensed work, illustrating characters such as Postman Pat, Bill and Ben and Sesame Street.
I've been described as an 'Animal Artist', not I hasten to add because I'm wild and hairy but because I love to draw animals and especially like to give them human characteristics
I've been writing children's books for about 15 years now. I've had about 60 published so far. Another 10 or so will be out soon!
I've got 4 great children and although they're all adults now, my memories of them growing up inspire and inform my writing. I also have 8 small grandchildren now who are providing a whole new wealth of inspiration!
I've been visiting schools for about 20 years, all over the UK and more recently in Europe, working mostly with children from nursery up to key stage 2 But also with secondary schools too. I can provide a range of different sessions which are tailored to suit specific age groups and can be focussed on illustration, writing or a mixture of both.
In my illustration workshops I show my folio of artwork which includes character sketches, pencil roughs and finished artwork from my books. I'll teach the children how to draw facial expressions in an interactive session that works for all ages. Then I'll go into more detail covering things like shading, scale, movement, texture and figure drawing to whichever level is age appropriate.
In my writing workshops I'll read my stories and talk about where my ideas came from. Then, in an interactive session I'll work with the children to develop their own story ideas. I like to draw sketches of their characters which often help to inspire their writing.
With older children, I like to include a Q and A element as they generally seem much more interested in the process of writing and illustration.
In secondary schools I can provide illustration workshops and work with small groups on specific project work eg workshops on writing for young children.
I'm also happy to work in special schools
I am available for radio or TV interviews and have recently recorded two volumes of my picture book stories on audio.
And if that isn't enough, I also paint murals in schools ( I've just completed my 54th! ) either on my own or working with groups of children and I take inset training sessions for teachers in drawing.
Anything except get a proper job!
We all wanted to offer you a huge THANK YOU for your day in school. The children were so excited and inspired by your involvement with them. I overheard many of their comments of the children as they left assembly and they were wonderful: "awesome!", "I want to draw like that", "he was brilliant!". It was lovely to hear them enthuse, and the staff assured me the buzz continued throughout the day.
We had one call from a Year 1 parent to say her son was so inspired he hasn't stopped writing since that day. Exactly want we wanted. Thank you so much.
Deputy Headteacher Woodland View Primary School
"I had met Steve before when he visited my last school. He had such a fantastic manner with the children and inspired all ages that I knew I wanted him to work his magic again with the pupils at my current school. Yet again he enthralled the children when he shared some of his own stories and wowed them when he began to show them how to illustrate their writing and use ideas to develop characters. Each class had a short session with Steve over two days and the comments from staff were all full of praise as he had provided them with a wealth of ideas and the children were really motivated to create their own stories and pictures. One Year 4 boy even stopped me in the corridor to thank me for inviting the author in. Thanks to Steve, our children have produced some facinating pictures and stories and this has been a real boost to our focus on reading and writing."
Jill Wilkinson Ellison Primary School
CW " He was brilliant and interesting and it made me want to write and illustrate one of my own books. I liked it when he drew wonderful pictures."
We just wanted to say a massive thank you for giving us such an awesome day, the whole of the Early Years staff and children absolutely loved your visit. Your illustration stories, asides, and especially your trump noises were outstanding!
Anne and Dawn from Oakworth Primary School
Thank you for a fantastic couple of days! All the feedback has been extremely positive. Staff and pupils alike have commented on how much they enjoyed the experience! I will be in touch again! Thanks for making both days a huge success.
Here are just a few of the books I've written